Music

The song you sing on the long drive home.
The song in your headphones powering you through your workout.
The song that reminds you of the one person you can’t stop thinking about, or the one you shouldn’t think about at all.

Learning Love Songs began in 2008 as a personal journey documented through popular music. Each post centered on a song or album that was resonating with me at that moment, whether a longtime favorite I felt compelled to listen to, or a top 40 earworm whose melody I couldn’t shake.

Across 10 years and more than 700 posts, I studied songwriting from lyrical and instrumental perspectives, trying to pinpoint what about that song was impressing me or capturing me in that moment. While I sharpened my writing skills and tuned my ears, I also thought carefully and deeply about human relationships and how we use music to process them.

This work was fueled by own love and passion for music. My time at a performing arts high school was fully of singing and dancing and garage bands. A handful of theory classes in college gave me a working knowledge of music. I wrote my way through unpaid internships at music magazines and websites, and frequently pitched in on arts and entertainment coverage at newspapers, while many a late-night open mic in my early 20s led to dabbling in guitar and country rock vocals.

In 2019, with a decade of Learning Love Songs behind me and in the same spirit of exploration, I began publishing short clips of cover songs on Instagram. Not only has this experience helped me connect my passion for music to my digital media skills, but I’ve learned quite a few more new songs this way, too.


I like to think I’ve reserved a special place in my heart and mind for hearing the right song at the right time, and that I’ve documented enough of these moments in a decade to see some throughlines. Like what it means to be stilled to the bone by someone’s work, how it feels to be frozen in your tracks when something fits just right. How the proper amount of sadness can somehow cure yours. How the loudest volume on earbuds can hurt so good. How the right words and the right notes can turn your outlook around on a dime.  These moments have stunned me, surprised me and saved me — and even if I’m not writing about them anymore, I’ll be looking for them on every next listen.

3/19/18 – Learning Love Songs